Author: Adrianne James
Published Date: May 2013
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
But that was before.
Vi, Ashley, and Macy are just trying to make it through the school year without one more humiliation when they team up for a simple photography assignment: create a story through a series of photographs. Can’t be too much trouble, right?
The shutterbugs happen upon Willowspring High School’s darkest secret. When everything around them starts to crumble after trying to do the right thing, their only hope is to stick together
Overexposed by Adrianne James is a nice YA novel. I work at a high school and I have teens, and this book very much had the feel of life through a teenager’s eyes. There is the typical high school drama and the dilemma of which side of the tracks you live on. It touches upon several issues faced by teens: rumors/gossip, drugs, dating and loyalty to friends and family.
The story takes place in a small mining town where more and more miners are being laid off. The declining socio-economic situation in the town leads some to turn to crime to help support their families. As in many stories about company towns, the teens are all desperate to find a way out—college, professional sports, etc.—and some of the adults they think have their best interest at heart, actually perpetuate some of the problems.
The teens in the story characteristically represent the usual groups found in high school. The main characters have plenty of realistic dialogue. When a prom date goes south, best friends, Vi, Ashley and Macy get more on film than they had originally planned. Their photography class assignment takes on a life of its own as the girls are doggedly bullied by the local ruffians. Although unsupported by many of the adults she turns to, Vi persists in dealing with the problem and assists the local sheriff in proving who is really behind the drug ring. I liked that the story presented Vi as a strong girl who persevered for what she believed to be right instead of depicting her as a weak victim that need someone else to take care of her. While Vi might not be the perfect role model, I thought it was great that the author chose to portray her as strong and ultimately upstanding.
The story is realistic but not overly graphic or violent. I loved the stereotypical parental reactions when the crisis is exposed. The teens were realistic. I’m sure the situation they encounter happens all too often. Although I thought the end was a bit over the top, the dream-come-true ending will appeal to teens. After all, who doesn’t want to believe that their good deeds will not go unnoticed.
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